North Americans tend to think of Italy as a vacation destination, not a mission field. It is a country rich in history, culture, and cuisine. It is the land of the ancient Romans, the birthplace of the Renaissance, and the fashion capital of the world. But when it comes to the gospel, Italy is impoverished and bleak. Less than 1% of Italians identify as Protestant. There are no Reformed or Presbyterian denominations in the entire country. Unlike European countries such as Germany, Switzerland and England, Italy did not enjoy the light of the Reformation beyond the 1540s when it was snuffed out by the Roman Inquisition. Consequently, Italy is a spiritually dark place to live.
Rev. Brown’s mission is to preach the gospel, make disciples of Christ, and serve Chiesa Riformata ‘Filadelfia’, a small church in Milan. Chiesa Riformata ‘Filadelfia’ was previously served by Rev. Andrea Ferrari, who is now planting a church in the city of Perugia, located in central Italy. On November 18, 2018, the Escondido United Reformed Church in Escondido, CA called Rev. Brown as a missionary to serve Chiesa Riformata ‘Filadelfia’. Previously, he served as a church-planter under Escondido URC, planting Christ URC in Santee, CA, which he subsequently served as pastor for fourteen years. He also served as the chairman of the URCNA Study Committee on Missions and the URCNA Missions Committee for several years.
On January 6, 2019, Rev. Brown was officially installed by the Consistory of Chiesa Riformata ‘Filadelfia’ to serve as the church as their minister. Rev. Brown has been involved with the mission work in Milan since 2006. He and his wife Janie speak Italian and have spent much time in Italy over the years. They have been married since 1990 and live in Milan with their youngest son, Iain. They also have three grown children living in the United States.
Milan is a city of over 3,000,000 people and located in Italy’s most populated region, Lombardy. It is an industrial city in which Italians from all over the country come to find work. There are many opportunities to reach people with the glorious message of Christ’s life, death, and resurrection.
If you live in northern Italy or plan to travel there soon, you are warmly invited to worship at Chiesa Riformata ‘Filadelfia’ on the Lord’s Day at 10.00am.